Pre-Debate Poll: Democrats Want to Hear About Climate Change, Not Reparations or the Wall

Extinction Rebellion climate change protesters briefly block a road near the Bank of Engla
AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Climate change and gun policy dominate the interests of Democrats going into the first Democrat primary debates, but reparations and the U.S.-Mexico wall – two subjects many Democrat hopefuls have been campaigning on – are the least of their concerns, according to a Morning Consult poll released Tuesday.

When it comes to topics Democrats want to hear about the most in the upcoming primary debates, the largest share of Democrats – 63 percent – say climate change. Gun policy falls closely behind, with 62 percent of Democrats saying it is a “very important” topic that should be discussed. Recent abortion bills follow gun control, with 60 percent considering it a “very important” topic.

Others issues Democrats consider “very important” to discuss during the debates are as follows, via Morning Consult:

  • Medicare for All implementation: 54 percent
  • Immigration: 53 percent:
  • Education reform: 50 percent
  • Relations with Iran: 47 percent
  • Infrastructure: 45 percent
  • Criminal justice reform: 45 percent
  • Donald Trump: 44 percent
  • Student loan debt: 41 percent
  • Trade sanctions: 39 percent
  • Relations with North Korea: 38 percent
  • Sanctions on China: 34 percent
  • Sanctions on Mexico: 32 percent

Only 25 percent of Democrats consider the U.S.-Mexico border wall and reparations “very important” topics to discuss.

A number of Democrat candidates have harped on those two issues specifically.

“Yes, absolutely. I would take the wall down,” Beto O’Rourke (D) told Chris Hayes in February, while Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) seemed open to the idea as well.

“I’d have to ask folks in that part of the country to see whether the fencing that exists today is helpful or unhelpful,” she told Fox News in February.

“I could look at it and see which part he means and why, and if it makes sense, I could support it,” she added.

Meanwhile, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said America has “not yet truly acknowledged and grappled with racism and white supremacy that has tainted” the country’s founding and concluded that “deep racial disparities and inequalities” continue to exist today. As a result, he has floated the idea of issuing reparations.

Each night’s debate will be broken up into specific segments, although debate topics have not yet been revealed.

Morning Consult surveyed 707 Democrat voters June 21–24. The margin of error is +/-  4 percent.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.